Cubs Hopes Are Slim, But Not Gone

Midwest Sports FansAnalyst IAugust 30, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 22:  Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella looks on during batting practice prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Cubs 2-0.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Things are looking very dull for the Chicago Cubs and their playoff hopes. The lovable losers are nine games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central Division, and that number doesn’t seem to want to decrease.

The Cardinals are playing very strong, and they just seem to win whenever the Cubs do.

Lou Piniella told reporters to blame him for this dismal season, and while you usually do blame the manager for a bad season, you can hardly blame Lou for the Cubs’ problems this season.

The only problem I have with the job Lou has done this year is his inability to build up chemistry between the players. I don’t see any between the Cubs players.

They look like a bunch of strangers out on the field. Without good chemistry between players, teams often lack that go-to spirit that is needed to win ballgames.

The locker room just doesn’t seem to be a happy and laid-back locker room, which has hurt the Cubs all season long.

After telling reporters that he thought fans were racist, Milton Bradley has be on a tear. While there might be some racist fans, most of the fans are angry at him because he has failed to meet expectations, not because he is black.

And fans should be angry with him. He has failed to meet any expectations. And I mean FAILED. He is batting a dismal .167 with runners in scoring position.

That is unacceptable in baseball. If you want to make fans and managers happy, you need to produce with runners on second and third.

Another problem player is Carlos Zambrano. When he said he wasn’t trying his hardest, I was infuriated. The Cubs pay this guy loads of money and he isn’t even trying? That is the worst possible stunt a baseball player can pull. I would axe him in a minute.

No wonder his numbers are bad this year. He wasn’t even trying! I am sorry if I sound harsh, but that is unacceptable for any pro athlete to just give it half-assed effort.

You can’t do that to a team that is paying you to be their No. 1 starter. Just a really dumb thing to do.

Despite these issues, while you can say the Cubs are out of the division race, they still have an outside chance at the Wild Card.

The Cubs are a manageable 5.5 games behind Colorado, with three other teams (S.F., Atlanta, Florida) ahead of the Cubs as well.

This is their only light at the end of the tunnel. The Cubs have one month to get it in gear and win games.

Though it is perhaps unlikely, 5.5 games is still a manageable number to overcome. We’ve seen it done before during the last month of a baseball season. It’s just a question of how much to do they want it?